When the Florida Chapter of the Federalist Society (a conservative legal association) met over the past weekend, they made the peculiar decision of holding their annual meeting at Disney World. Yes, you read that right, on the eve of a special session that would focus largely on Disney, the Federalist Society attorneys from across the state met at the Mouse’s Yacht Club. Notably absent – Team DeSantis.
Governor DeSantis had previously spoken at the event every year since his election in 2018, but this year he was missing from the program. This marked the first time in over a decade, the Governor or his staff missed the gathering.
While Attorney General Ashley Moody did provide featured remarks and attended with her staff, her speech focused on criticizing woke corporate actors like Disney. According to those present at the event, she was so brash in her criticisms of Disney that she may have intentionally accepted the invitation for the sole purpose of lecturing anyone defending the actions of the Burbank-based company.
While the list of law firms sponsoring the event included many conservative leaning firms, two were glaringly absent from the sponsorship list – Gray Robinson and Holtzman Vogel. Gray Robinson recently defended Governor DeSantis in federal court after suspending Andrew Warren and Holtzman Vogel has been point on DeSantis’ defense for redistricting, election integrity and prohibiting transgender surgeries of minors.
The Federalist Society has long been considered a leading conservative organization that has reshaped the judiciary, however, after the organization’s role in assisting President Trump with the nomination of justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, many have questioned the organization’s true success in shaping the judiciary with conservatives.
Among Justice Gorsuch’s actions on the high court are: writing the majority opinion in the Bostock v. Clayton County case against Justices Thomas, Alito and Kavanaugh to change the way the government views gender identity and sexual orientation, and he recently opined against keeping the Title 42 border policy in place. Meanwhile, Justice Kavanaugh handed the Biden administration a major victory by allowing it to end the “remain in Mexico” policy; and siding with the liberal side of the court in a 5-4 decision allowing vaccine mandates for health care workers in health care settings that receive federal funds. The Federalist Society also has ties to Chief Justice Roberts who has often sided with the liberal wing of the court, including the 2012 Obamacare ruling and against the Trump Administration’s efforts to ask about citizenship on the 2020 Census.
Once again, Ron DeSantis shows he is a true conservative, who is willing to walk the walk, even when others won’t.
Today, House Bill 9B Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties, passed through the Florida Legislature and will be sent to the Governor for his signature.